It’s my fate to carry big, heavy loads. Either I’m guiding 30-day trips for NOLS or shouldering the brunt of my family’s gear. In both scenarios, with loads of up to 70 pounds, this 85-liter pack proved comfortable and stable. The stiff hipbelt supports a big load and the rigid X-frame of flat aluminum stays distributes the weight directly to the hips.
But the frame allows torsional flex, so the pack moved with me when I was traversing boulder fields, high-stepping, or postholing. Heat buster: A V-shaped cutout in the back panel promotes airflow. Bummer: It’s heavy. $269; 6 lbs. 12 oz.; one size (17- to 22-inch torsos); deuterusa.com.